Scottish woman’s cliff plunge in Thailand sparks insurance debacle: Scot left hanging

Picture courtesy of Daily Record

An insurance company left a Scottish woman hanging after they refused to pay out after she almost plunged 20 metres to her death off a cliff on Ko Lanta island in West Thailand.

Glasgow-born NHS nurse Kerry Hughes almost fell to her death after renting a scooter on the West Thailand island. Despite the swift action of an emergency rescue team, who transferred the 35 year old to a local hospital on Ko Lanta island, Hughes faced further complications when she was moved to the mainland for additional treatment. It was there that she received the disheartening news that her insurance would not cover the hospital costs.

“I had to put the costs of the transfer onto my credit card before they would transfer me.

“I was with a friend who I met on a scuba diving course. She helped me put the charges on my credit card. I was admitted to ICU for days then had an email from my insurance saying they rejected my claim due to the scooter I hired being classed as a motorbike.

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“The scooter I hired looked like a scooter and was called a scooter when I hired it but the insurance company classed it as a motorbike due to the engine size. I didn’t even know the engine size when I hired it.”

Despite the severity of her injuries, including large lacerations, back pain, a head injury, a broken nose, and a knee wound, Hughes wanted to leave the hospital due to the high treatment costs. However, the compassionate medical staff insisted she stayed. One doctor even offered her a room at her home for recovery.

“I had amazing care and treatment in Thailand and the doctor who treated me was very kind and understanding.

“I was very upset when I found out that the insurance wouldn’t be covering my hospital bills and spoke to the doctor about discharge from hospital. I had large lacerations to my face needing sutures, horrendous back pain, a head injury with bleeding to the back of my head, a broken nose that needed surgery and a wound in my left knee.

“I was unable to walk unaided but needed to get out of the hospital as I had maxed out both my credit cards paying for treatment. My doctor did not want to discharge me but was sympathetic that I had to put all the charges on my credit card. She insisted that I go home with her for a couple of days and after trying to refuse I realised I could not manage in a hotel room by myself.

“I honestly have no idea what I would have done without her help. I will be forever grateful. She said to me that I have helped so many people in my life as a nurse that I needed to accept help when it’s given.”

Despite the ordeal, Hughes reflected on the enjoyable time she had in Thailand before the accident, expressing her fondness for the beautiful scenery and friendly people she encountered during her holiday.

“The holiday before the accident was amazing. Thailand is so beautiful and such a friendly place I was having an amazing time island hopping before the accident. I met so many incredible people and did a scuba diving course on Phi Phi island that I loved.”

Upon learning of Hughes’ predicament, her friends and family quickly rallied together to support her. Kerry’s colleague and friend, Tammy Hudson, set up a JustGiving page to raise funds for her return flight and medical expenses. The response was overwhelming, with over £10,000 raised so far.

The kindness shown by both loved ones and strangers brought Hughes, an NHS worker for nine years, to tears.

“My friend Tammy insisted that a fundraiser would help get me home and could cover at least some of the cost of my treatment. She messaged me a few hours later after it had gone live and told me to follow the link. I was so overwhelmed with the support and messages from my work colleagues, current and previous, that I burst into tears. I couldn’t believe so many people were willing to help me, it still makes me emotional.”

On January 30, Hughes finally returned home to Glasgow, marking the end of a challenging journey. Reflecting on her experience, she expressed profound gratitude for the assistance and support that helped her through this difficult time.

“After the just giving had taken off we started looking at flights home. We decided I would be able to get home quicker if we booked a business class flight, I could then lay down and sleep for the flights.

“I landed home on Tuesday and I don’t have words to describe how grateful I am to be home.”

Scottish woman's cliff plunge in Thailand sparks insurance debacle: Scot left hanging | News by Thaiger
Picture courtesy of Daily Record

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Bob Scott

Bob Scott is an experienced writer and editor with a passion for travel. Born and raised in Newcastle, England, he spent more than 10 years in Asia. He worked as a sports writer in the north of England and London before relocating to Asia. Now he resides in Bangkok, Thailand, where he is the Editor-in-Chief for The Thaiger English News. With a vast amount of experience from living and writing abroad, Bob Scott is an expert on all things related to Asian culture and lifestyle.

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